Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders

The Loss Leaders were a series of cheap albums that Warner/Reprise started issued in 1969 - single LPs going for $1 and doubles for $2 (the last two Loss Leaders, double LPs from 1980, cost $3 each). The inner sleaves had the slogan

"The best, biggest bargains on record! The Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders."

and pictures of the albums in the series, the below of which had Zappa tracks on them:

External Link

The 1969 Warner-Reprise Songbook

Unique material: shorter edits of two Uncle Meat tracks

1. Wild Man Fischer: Songs for Sale
2. Jethro Tull: My Sunday Feeling
3. The Pentangle: Sweet Child
4. Van Morrison: Slim Slo Slider
5. Family: Second Generation Woman
6. Tom Northcott: Sunny Goodge Street
7. The Everly Brothers: T for Texas / Lord of the Manor
10. Van Dyke Parks: The All Golden / Music for a Datsun TV commercial
11. Sal Valentino: Alligator Man
12. The Beau Brummels: Deep Water
13. Randy Newman: Davy the Fat Boy
14. Tiny Tim: Mr Tim Laughs
15. The Mothers of Invention: The Voice of Cheese [edited] / Louie Louie [Berry] / Our Bizarre Relationship [edited] / The Air
17. The Fugs: The Divine Toe / Grope Need / Tuli, Visited by the Ghost of Plotinus / Robinson Crusoe / The National Haiku Contest / Wide, Wide River
18. Arlo Guthrie: The Pause of Mr Claus
19. Sweetwater: Why Oh Why
20. Joni Mitchell: Nathan La Franeer
21. Eric Andersen: So Good to Be With You
22. The Electric Prunes: Finders Keepers
23. The Kinks: Picture Book
24. The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Red House
25. Miriam Makeba: I Shall Be Released

From Michael Gula:

An earlier package [than the 1969 Warner-Reprise Record Show] was The 1969 Warner-Reprise Songbook featuring excerpts from Uncle Meat including an edited version of Suzy Creamcheese's monologue on side one, an excerpt from "Ian Underwood Whips It Out", and a full-length "The Air".

The 1969 Warner-Reprise Record Show (Son of Songbook)

Unique material: none
Zappa material: "Electric Aunt Jemima"

1. Neil Young with Crazy Horse: Cinnamon Girl
2. The Grateful Dead: Doin' That Rag
3. Geoff & Maria Muldaur: All Bowed Down
4. The Everly Brother: Empty Boxes
5. Doug Kershaw: Son of a Louisiana Man
6. David Blue: Atlanta Farewell
7. Arlo Guthrie: Every Hand in the Land
8. The Blue Velvet Band: Weary Blues from Waitin'
9. Theo Bikel: Piggies
10. Joni Mitchell: My American Skirt / The Fiddle and the Drum / Spoony's Wonderful Adventure
11. John Renbourn: Transfusion
12. Bert Jansch: Poison
13. The Pentangle: Once I Had a Sweetheart
14. Peter, Paul & Mary: Going to the Zoo
15. Sweetwater: Day Song
16. Louie Shelton: A Walk in the Country
17. Lorraine Ellison: Stay with Me
18. Van Dyke Parks: Music for Ice Capades TV commercials
19. Randy Newman: Yellow Man
20. Pearls Before Swine: These Things Too
21. Hamilton Camp: Star Spangled Bus
22. Ella Fitzgerald: The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game
23. The Fugs: Yodellin' Yippie
24. The Mothers of Invention: Electric Aunt Jemima
25. Jethro Tull: Fat Man
26. Mephistopheles: Take a Jet
27. The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Stone Free
28. The Kinks: Nothing to Say
29. Fats Domino: Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey

Double LP.

Informants: Michael Gula, "U"

October 10 1969

Unique material: none
Zappa material: "Peaches en Regalia"

1. Norman Greenbaum: Spirit in the Sky
2. Levitt & McClure: Reflections
3. Denny Brooks: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
4. Ruthann Friedman: People
5. The Kinks: Shangri-La
6. Frank Zappa: Peaches en Regalia
7. Fleetwood Mac: Rattlesnake Shake
8. Eric Andersen: Lie with Me
9. The Fifth Avenue Band: Fast Freight
10. The Mike Post Coalition: Bubblegum Breakthrough

From Inside the Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders:

A single disc slipped into the mix while Warners was trying to decide if the doubles would sell. Notes by John Mendelsohn and WB's Pete Johnson. Details courtesy of Tom Smith.

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

Yesterday I received a still-in-the-shrink copy of the Warner Bros. loss-leader compilation October 10, 1969, which I was fortunate enough to score on eBay for a buck. (The same as it cost when new - Whip Inflation Now!) Kicking off side two is "Peaches en Regalia," accompanied by this blurb, courtesy of John Mendelsohn:

"Frank Zappa, with the help of such illustrious/revolting sidemen as Captain Beefheart, Ian Underwood, Jean Luc Ponty, and Willie the Pimp, has come up with a solo album even more repellant than the last Mothers offering and Lumpy Gravy combined. Critics everywhere will very nearly wet their pants, Stravinsky will  go a little grayer*, and the public will get a little more paranoiac because of it, while Zappa, comfily ensconced in Laurel Canyon, will threaten to retire to a career of producing Phil Spector & the Teddy Bears singles if it doesn't make number two on the easy listening charts**. Keep on doing it to our heads, Frank"

*) Stravinsky was still alive at the time.
**) I'm not 100% sure that the double-entendre here was intended.

The Big Ball

Unique material: none
Zappa material: "WPLJ" [Dobard/McDaniels]
Matrix numbers S 39669, S 39670, S 39671 and S 39672.

1. The Fifth Avenue Band: Nice Folks
2. John Sebastian: Red-Eye Express
3. The Beach Boys: This Whole World
4. Geoff & Maria Muldaur: New Orleans Hopscop Blues
5. Arlo Guthrie: Coming in to Los Angeles
6. Eric Andersen: I Was the Rebel, She Was the Cause
7. Norman Greenbaum: Jubilee
8. Savage Grace: Ivy
9. Van Morrison: Caravan
10. Fleetwood Mac: Oh Well (Parts 1 & 2)
11. The Pentangle: Sally Go Round the Roses
12. Jethro Tull: Nothing Is Easy
13. Small Faces: Flying
14. Family: No Mule's Fool
15. The Kinks: When I Turn Out the Living Room Light
16. The Everly Brothers: I'm on My Way Home Again
17. Tim Buckley: Happy Time
18. Joni Mitchell: Big Yellow Taxi
19. Neil Young: The Loner
20. Gordon Lightfoot: Approaching Lavender
21. Randy Newman: Mama Told Me Not to Come
22. James Taylor: Fire and Rain
23. Dion: Sit Down Old Friend
24. Ed Sanders: The Illiad
25. The GTO's: Kansas and the GTO's / The Captain's Fat Theresa Shoes / The Original GTO's
26. Captain Beefheart: Ella Guru
27. The Mothers of Invention: WPLJ [Dobard/McDaniels]
28. Wild Man Fischer: The Taster; The Story of the Taster
29. Pearls Before Swine: Footnote
30. The Grateful Dead: Turn On Your Love Light

Additional informants: an informed Orange County minister


  "You need to tape the dogs snout, in order to prevent it from eating it. When the dog have found the cheese, you don't need milk in the coffee. You need to eat coffee beans straight out of the sack in order to survive."
Geir Corneliussen, alt.fan.frank-zappa, September 26 1999

Unique material: none

From Michael Gray's book MOTHER!, page 115:

Straight/Bizarre also put out a sampler album of its "product" at the same time as Uncle Meat and the Lenny Bruce albums were issued (April, 1969 [it seems to have actually been 1970, probably February - Ed.]). The sampler was called Zapped, was available mail-order from Warner Brothers in the States, and was a real loss-leader, selling for just one dollar. It featured tracks from albums by Frank Zappa, The Mothers of Invention, Wild Man Fischer, The GTOs, Tim Buckley, Tim Dawe, Jeff Simmons, Lord Buckley, Alice Cooper, and the redoubtable Captain Beefheart.

There were three versions of this old sampler. They had different covers - one had a photo of Zappa (which also appeared on Hot Rats), and one had a collage of pictures of all the featured artists - and different tracks 3, 6, 8 and 11. The "photo cover" version also appeared with the tracks from the "collage cover" version, and that variant is the "third version". 

HOT RATS Photo Cover Version

Released with Bizarre labels. From U:

The cover picture is a black & white photo of Zappa which also appears in the Hot Rats CD booklet (Zappa looks into the camera, wearing a little scarf tied around his neck). The inner sleeve states that it's an album in the Warner/Reprise Loss Leader Record series, which was a series of 4 or 5 double LPs, $2 each, and one single LP, Zappéd, $1. The back cover, inner sleeve and record labels say "Zappéd", while the front cover says "Zapped".

1. Alice Cooper: Titanic Overture (01:09)
2. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: The Blimp (mousetrapreplica) (02:04)
3. Judy Henske & Jerry Yester: St Nicholas Hall
4. Tim Buckley: I Must Have Been Blind (03:40)
5. Wild Man Fischer: Merry-Go-Round (01:56)
6. Alice Cooper: Refrigerator Heaven
7. Tim Dawe: Little Boy Blue (02:15)
8. Lord Buckley: Governor Slugwell

9. Jeff Simmons: Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up (03:14) [Zappa on guitar]
10. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Old Fart at Play (01:54)
11. The Mothers of Invention: Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown
12. GTOs: Do Me In Once And I'll Be Sad, Do Me In Twice And I'll Know Better (Circular Circulation) (02:19)
13. Frank Zappa: Willie the Pimp (09:25)

From Inside the Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders:

A single disc featuring acts on Frank Zappa's Bizarre/Straight labels. Notes by John Mendelsohn.

NOTE: This is the first release, with Zappa's Bizarre logo on the label; Warners later reissued it with a standard WB label and the same number, but different cover art and a few different tracks. (Our thanks to Keith Hanlon, your source on the Web for all things Judy Henske, for this revelation.)

(Australian Version)

From Collecting Frank Zappa in Australia - Part 1: The Early Years, an article by Stuart Penny in it - The Australian Record Collectors Magazine, Issue #14 June-July-August 1995 (provided by Henry Griggs, Sydney, Australia):

Never on sale in the shops, the US version of Zappéd was a (sort of) promo-only sampler featuring tracks from the likes of Captain Beefheart, GTOs, Wild Man Fischer etc., and was available only by mail-order direct from Warner Bros for the princely sum of US$1! Strange then, that in 1972, the album should appear in Australia as a full-blown commercial release! Issued with the "Zappa" ["Hot Rats"] photo cover/track listing, the Oz version of Zappéd (Reprise RS 5270) was issued as a mid-price release and, as such, appears to have sold reasonably well. Although copies are not especially difficult to find, the fact that Australia appears to be the only country in the world where this LP was released commercially increases the desirability factor somewhat.

Collage Cover Version

Released with standard Warner labels. From Svend Rosendahl:

I have the version with the collage photo cover: A collage made of black & white photos of the artists playing on this record. On the front in the upper right corner ZAPPÉD is printed in red in a semicircle. The label is Bizarre/Reprise PRO 368, and it was Released in February 1970. Cover design by Nancy Chester, and liner notes by John Mendelsohn (Warner Brothers Records).

1. Alice Cooper: Titanic Overture (01:09)
2. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: The Blimp (mousetrapreplica) (02:04)
3. Judy Henske & Jerry Yester: Horses on a Stick (02:10)
4. Tim Buckley: I Must Have Been Blind (03:40)
5. Wild Man Fischer: Merry-Go-Round (01:56)
6. Alice Cooper: Reflected (03:10)
7. Tim Dawe: Little Boy Blue (02:15)
8. Lord Buckley: The Train (02:24)

9. Jeff Simmons: Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up (03:14) [Zappa on guitar]
10. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Old Fart at Play (01:54)
11. The Mothers of Invention: Valarie (02:15) [Clarence Lewis / Bobby Robinson]
12. GTOs: Do Me In Once And I'll Be Sad, Do Me In Twice And I'll Know Better (Circular Circulation) (02:19)
13. Frank Zappa: Willie the Pimp (09:25)

The liner notes also state that "Zappéd includes tracks from all Bizarre/Straight albums released to date (February 1970), with the exception of the Mothers' Uncle Meat (Reprise 2024)".

Third Version

The "third version" has the "collage cover" record, but the Hot Rats photo cover.

Additional informants: Robert Cloos, The Torchum Never Stops

Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies

Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies box coverUnique material: none
Zappa material: "Directly from My Heart to You" [Penniman] and "Would You Go All the Way?"

The only triple-set among the Loss Leaders.

1. WB Radio Spot: It's the Plastic
2. Faces: Real Good Time
3. Black Sabbath: Paranoid
4. Little Feat: Strawberry Flats
5. Hard Meat: Smile as You Go Under
6. Fleetwood Mac: Tell Me All the Things You Do
7. Jimi Hendrix: Stepping Stone

8. John Simon: The Elves' Song
9. Ry Cooder: Alimony
10. Randy Newman: Let's Burn Down the Cornfield
11. Gordon Lightfoot: Me and Bobby McGee
12. Jimmy Webb: P. F. Sloan
13. Performance: Harry Flowers

14. WB Radio Spot: Chip Dip
15. Little Richard: I Saw Her Standing There
16. The Grateful Dead: Sugar Magnolia
17. Van Morrison: Call Me up in Dreamland
18. The Kinks: Apeman
19. Arlo Guthrie: Valley to Pray
20. The Beach Boys: It's About Time

21. The Youngbloods: It's a Lovely Day
22. Jeffrey Cain: Houndog Turkey
23. Lovecraft: Love Has Come to Me
24. Sweetwater: Just for You

25. Captain Beefheart: Lick My Decals Off, Baby
26. The Mothers of Invention: Directly from My Heart to You [Penniman]
27. Alice Cooper: Return of the Spiders
28. Frank Zappa: Would You Go All the Way?
29. Beaver & Krause: Spaced
30. Pearls Before Swine: The Jeweler

31. Beaver & Krause: Sanctuary
32. James Taylor: Lo and Behold
33. Harpers Bizarre: If We Ever Needed the Lord Before
34. Van Dyke Parks: On the Rolling Sea When Jesus Speaks to Me
35. The Persuasions: It's All Right
36. Turley Richards: I Heard the Voice of Jesus

From "ecollectics":

Promotional item issued to radio stations. Includes radio commercials for bartered/airplay [?] ... Warner Brothers Records PRO-423, stereo, copyright (C) 1970. Olive label with orange arrowhead logo. 7-page booklet with artist info.

Side 1 backed with side 6, side 2 with side 5, and side 3 with side 4.

Additional informants: Inside the Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders, Hasi

KYA 1260 Great Ripoff Album

Unique material: none
Zappa material: "Tears Began to Fall"

From Hasi:

1. The Beach Boys: Surf's Up
2. John Stewart: Daydream Believer
3. The Youngbloods: Hippie from Olema #5
4. Seals & Crofts: Year of Sunday
5. Grateful Dead: Bertha

6. John Hartford: Steam Powered Aeroplane
7. Van Morrison: Tupelo Honey
8. Paul Parrish: Jaynie
9. Fleetwood Mac: Sands of Time
10. Mothers of Invention: Tears Began to Fall

My copy is a white-label promo - I don't know if there are stock copies. "KYA 1260" is really part of the title. (I have no idea what it stands for.)

All Singing, All Talking, All Rocking

Unique material: None
Zappa material: "I'm the Slime"

This double featured sound bites from Warner Brothers movies.

1. Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton: Excerpt from WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
2. Chip Taylor: (I Want) The Real Thing
3. Jimmy Cliff: On My Life
4. Maria Muldaur: Don't You Feel My Leg (Don't You Make Me High)
5. Strider: Higher and Higher
6. Bonnie Raitt: Let Me In
7. Humphrey Bogart & Alfonso Bedoya: Excerpt from TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
8. The Allman Brothers Band: Ramblin' Man
9. JSD Band: Cuckoo
10. Three Man Army: Take a Look at the Light
11. Jethro Tull: Inside
12. James Dean: Excerpt from REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
13. Back Door: Plantaganet
14. The Mothers: I'm the Slime
15. The Section: Bullet Train
16. Robin Trower: Twice Removed from Yesterday
17. The Marshall Tucker Band: Hillbilly Band
18. The Sopwith Camel: Dancin' Wizard
19. Kathy Dalton: Long Gone Charlie, Hit and Run
20. Bugs Bunny & Barbra Streisand: Excerpt from WHAT'S UP, DOC?
21. Uriah Heep: Seven Stars
22. America: Muskrat Love
23. Martin Mull: Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope
24. James Cagney: Excerpt from YANKEE DOODLE DANDY
25. Gene Parsons: Monument
26. The Doobie Brothers: Natural Thing
27. Bedlam: Sweet Sister Mary
28. Wendy Waldman: Gringo en Mexico
29. Jesse Colin Young: Evenin'
30. Tim Buckley: Sally Go 'Round the Roses
31. Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart & Dooley Wilson: Excerpt from CASABLANCA
32. Peter Yarrow: Wayfaring Stranger

Hard Goods

Unique material: none
Zappa material: "Cosmik Debris"

1. Graham Central Station: We've Been Waiting / Can You Handle It?
2. Montrose: Good Rockin' Tonight
3. The Doobie Brothers: Pursuit on 53rd Street
4. Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes: Sweet Revenge
5. The Talbot Brothers: Trail of Tears
6. Foghat: That'll Be the Day
7. Van Morrison: Ain't Nothin' You Can Do
8. Chunky, Novi & Ernie: Atlantic Liner
9. Deep Purple: "A" 200
10. Frank Zappa: Cosmik Debris
11. Todd Rundgren: Heavy Metal Kids
12. Bob Seger: UMC (Upper Middle Class)
13. Kiss: Strutter
14. Steeleye Span: Thomas the Rhymer
15. The Marshall Tucker Band: Another Cruel Love
16. Osibisa: Take Your Trouble - Go
17. Gregg Allman: Please Call Home
18. Neil Young with Graham Nash: War Song
19. Denver, Boise & Johnson: The '68 Nixon (This Year's Model)
20. Alan Price: In Times Like These
21. Seals & Crofts: Dance by the Light of the Moon
22. Terry Melcher: Dr Horowitz
23. Leo Sayer: The Show Must Go On
24. The Beach Boys: Vegetables
25. Robin Trower: About to Begin
26. Dooley Wilson: As Time Goes By

From Inside the Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders:

Artist photos and extra pages were eliminated as an economy measure, but the price held.
Additional informants: Lennon Dude

The Works

Unique material: none
Zappa material: "Debra Kadabra"

1. Rod Stewart: Stone Cold Sober
2. Foghat: Fool for the City
3. Jimmy Cliff: If I Follow My Mind
4. Montrose: Dancin' Feet
5. Tower of Power: On the Serious Side
6. Van Dyke Parks: Clang of the Yankee Reaper
7. Fleetwood Mac: World Turning
8. Al Jarreau: We Got By
9. Bonnie Raitt: What Do You Want the Boy to Do
10. Ray Wylie Hubbard & the Cowboy Twinkies: Jazzbo Dancer
11. David Sanborn: It Took a Long Time
12. Graham Central Station: Water
13. The Meters: Fire on the Bayou
14. Leo Sayer: Moonlighting
15. Little Feat: One Love Stand
16. Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen: Roll Your Own
17. Richard Pryor: Cocaine
18. Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart: Debra Kadabra
19. Ronee Blakley: American Beauty
20. Leon Redbone: Desert Blues (Big Chief Buffalo Nickel)
21. Chris Ducey: Seeds
22. Black Sabbath: Supertzar
23. Utopia: Something's Coming
24. The Beach Boys: Child of Winter

Advertised as "The First Industrial-Strength Record Album".

Loss Leaders without Zappa

The full list of Loss Leaders look like this, and all are double LPs unless otherwise noted:

  • The 1969 Warner-Reprise Songbook (Warner/Reprise PRO-331 (s39483), 1969 - double LP with "internal booklet")
  • The 1969 Warner-Reprise Record Show (Son of Songbook) (Warner/Reprise PRO-336, 1969, single LP)
  • October 10 1969 (Warner/Reprise PRO-351, October 10 1969)
  • The Big Ball (Warner/Reprise PRO-358, 1970)
  • Schlagers! (Warner/Reprise PRO-359, 1970)
  • Zappéd (Warner/Reprise/Bizarre PRO-368, February 1970 (single LP, two or three variants); Reprise RS 5270 in Australia (1972) (NOTE: the Australian version was not a Loss Leader))
  • Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies (Warner/Reprise PRO-423, 1970, triple LP)
  • Non-Dairy Creamer (Warner/Reprise PRO-443, 1971, single LP)
  • Hot Platters (Warner/Reprise PRO-474, 1971)
  • Together (Warner/Reprise PRO-486, 1971 - the last single LP in the series)
  • The Whole Burbank Catalog (Warner/Reprise PRO-512, 1972)
  • Middle of the Road (Warner/Reprise PRO-525, 1972)
  • Burbank (Warner/Reprise PRO-529, 1972)
  • The Days of Wine and Vinyl (Warner/Reprise PRO-540, 1972)
  • Appetizers (Warner/Reprise PRO-569, 1973)
  • All Singing, All Talking, All Rocking (Warner/Reprise PRO 573, 1973)
  • Hard Goods (Warner/Reprise PRO-583, 1974)
  • Peaches (Warner/Reprise PRO-588, 1974)
  • Deep Ear (Warner/Reprise PRO-591, 1974)
  • The Force (Warner/Reprise PRO-596, 1975)
  • All Meat (Warner/Reprise PRO-604, 1975)
  • I Didn't Know They Still Made Records Like This (Warner/Reprise PRO-608, 1975)
  • The Works (Warner/Reprise PRO-610, 1975)
  • Supergroup (Warner/Reprise PRO-630, 1976)
  • The People's Record (Warner/Reprise PRO-645, 1976)
  • Cook Book (Warner/Reprise PRO-660, 1977)
  • Limo (Warner/Reprise PRO-691, 1977)
  • Collectus Interruptus (Warner/Reprise PRO A-726, 1978)
  • Pumping Vinyl (Warner/Reprise PRO A-773, 1979)
  • A La Carte (Warner/Reprise PRO A-794, 1979)
  • Monsters (Warner/Reprise PRO A-796, 1979)
  • Eclipse (Warner/Reprise PRO A-828, 1980)
  • Troublemakers (Warner/Reprise PRO A-857, 1980)

Zappa's ad-loaned line "not a speck of cereal" (from "Dirty Love") may have been used as a slogan on All Meat. The Force also exists in a promo version, containing Zappa's "Penguin in Bondage".


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